1963 Chevrolet Corvette C2 Sting Ray

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The Chevrolet Corvette of the second generation was produced for only 4 years. But even for such a short time it became an icon and twice exceeded the sales of the C1, which was produced for 10 years! During the production period 117,964 of these cars were produced.

The C2 was a completely new car. Other than the Corvette emblem, there was nothing about it that reminded you of the C1. It was the first Corvette with headlights that were raised. This solution was later used on the C5 in the 90s and early noughties. Many people know that the car was nicknamed the Sting Ray because of its exterior contours. And in my opinion, this aggressive design with a sharp nose and long hood evolved to the C7. The C8 became carditally different, but it was the C2 that laid the groundwork for the next generations of Corvette for many decades to come.

These cars came with carbureted and injected engines. Yes – mechanical fuel injection was already used on the C1, but at the time it was a very revolutionary and technological solution. It is enough to remember that the first serial car with an injector injection system – Mercedes 300SL appeared in ’55. It was on the C2, though not immediately, but the rear, independent suspension and disc brakes on all wheels appeared. This was very much to the credit of Zora Arkus – Dantov. This, professional racer did a lot to make American Corvettes able to stand up to the cool sports cars from Europe. Also to the new car had a hand designers – Larry Shinoda (the man who drew the first generation of Ford Meustang), Bill Mitchell – at that time already the chief designer of Chevrolet. It is said that the latter was inspired by a fishing trip and created a new car by imagining the shape of a shark.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette C2 Stinf Ray – price and value.

In ’63, you could buy a brand new Corvette Z06 for $5,900. This was one and a half times more expensive than the base car. It is noteworthy that the convertible cost 200 dollars cheaper and it sold slightly better. The most powerful, fastest and rarest – L88 sold for $6,600, and in 2014 one such car was sold at auction for $3,800,000.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette exterior and photos.

As you know without me, stylistically this car is completely different from the C1. But its body panels are also made of fiberglass. To save weight, the body panels are thinner than they were in the first generation. At the same time, the stiffness of the ladder-type frame has been increased by 90%. The stiffness of the convertible body was slightly less, but it was still a much stiffer structure compared to the C1, which in itself affected handling.

Note the rear window. It was originally split into two parts. Such cars were produced for only one year and they are especially prized among collectors and enthusiasts. Later the rear window became one piece, – this was due to the desire to improve visibility. In the split rear window you can see some resemblance to the Bugatti 57SC Atlantic (I saw this from Jay Leno and totally agree with him). I think many have heard that the shape of the C2’s stern resembles the back of a boat. Notice how the wheel arches rise above the horizontal body panels – this solution later evolved with the C3.
There were also ventilation “louvers” built into the hoods of the early cars. The cars produced in the first year were fitted with more elaborate, wheel rims. Mufflers pass under the sills and they are covered by special covers.

Interior and equipment.

As with the C1 and all subsequent Corvettes, there are only 2 seats. Low seat backs and two-point seat belts are in the spirit of the time. Just behind the seat backs is a rather large, storage compartment.
It is noteworthy that the high-speed modification L88 was completely deprived of noise insulation and even the heater. The reasons why this was done I think there is no sense to explain.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette C2 – engine and specifications.

Initially, the base engine was 5.4 liter V8. This is a big difference from the C1, the base engine for which was an inline six.
Already in 1963 a powerful modification of Z06 with an output of 360 horsepower was produced. As an option for this car was offered racing, fuel tank volume of 138 liters. During the year, only 199 cars with the abbreviation Z06 were sold, and 63 of them received a large fuel tank.
Good dynamic performance was provided by a 5.7-liter V8. This engine had a compression ratio of 11:1, was equipped with one four-chamber carburetor and developed a power of 425 horsepower and torque of 562N.M. With a manual transmission, this Corvette could accelerate to 100km in 5.7s.
In 1965, a larger 6.5-liter engine was introduced. This engine was more powerful, but added about 70kg to the front axle.

In 1966 came the big 427 V8 with a 7.0 liter capacity. This motor gives out a power of 425 hp and torque of 624N.M. With a manual transmission, this Corvette was able to accelerate to 100km in 5.4s.
In 67th there was a modification L71 with an output of 435 hp. This motor was powered by three, two-chamber carburetors. In the same year, the most powerful modification – L88 appeared. Formally the power was specified at the level of 427 hp, but not formally it was about 480 hp. A quarter of a mile such Corvette could pass for 12s.

It’s an amazing car that remains fast even today. It is interesting that during its production the injector system of engine power was removed. This decision was due to the great complexity and cost. So the injector power system was gone from the Corvette until 1982.

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